The Magpul D-50 GL9 PCC PMAG is perfect for USPSA or making your friends mad

I​f you’re reading this article and it’s still 2022, 9mm ammo is still pretty expensive. However, if you really want to flex on the poors, you grab the new Magpul D-50 GL9 PCC drum magazine and magdump an entire box of ammo into the berm. Or use it for USPSA matches, whatever suits you.

Magpul D-50 GL9 PCC Features

Right off the bat, the key feature of the new Magpul D-50 drum is right there in the name: 50. That’s how many rounds it holds, although more on that later. It’s worth noting here that there are two models of this drum. The standard GL9 model and the GL9 PCC model. There’s a differentiating factor between the two models. The PCC model has a shorter neck, which actually gives it a shorter height than a 33 round Glock stick. Because of that, it also won’t fit in Glock pistols. Well, it might fit in a Glock 26, but I don’t have one lying around to test that theory. Regardless, if you want a drum that also works in your Glock 17, don’t get the one that says “PCC” in the name.

Back to features, because the drum is pretty well set up. Drums in general are notoriously difficult to load, but the D-50 PCC drum has a nice lever to facilitate loading. Drums are also hard to keep track of your available rounds, but the Magpul drum has a nice window on the back to give you an idea of how many rounds you have left.

Loading the D-50 PCC Drum

T​his is probably the key part of the review. How easy is it to get all 50 rounds into the Magpul D-50 GL9 PCC drum? To put it mildly, it’s not. Allow me to explain: to load the drum, lift up the loading lever and move it to the left, if the mag is facing you. This compresses the spring and lowers the follower. Drop your round in, then release the lever. Repeat. Here’s the issue. I was only able to get 43 rounds in the drum. 

the lever on the D-50 gets hard to move after 40ish rounds

Then, it became difficult to rotate the lever and hold it open without using my other hand to apply counter pressure to the drum’s body. Unfortunately, when I did that, my two hands were occupied. Not wanting to drop rounds in with my mouth, I decided that 43 was good enough. I do suspect that like most magazine springs, this will wear in a bit with time making loading easier. Or, I could build some kind of fixture that holds the magazine in place while I load it.

S​hooting the Magpul D-50 GL9 PCC Drum

While the magazine is a little hard to load, it had no issues feeding. Our test platform for this review was my Aero Precision EPC-9, for which I recently received my tax stamp. I feel like a drum like this in an SBR is actually really awesome, and the D-50 PCC drum worked great. I ran a bunch of Federal 124gr JHP and Hornady Critical Defense through it, both of which ran great out of the magazine. Due to the ongoing ammo crisis, I didn’t have a lot of other rounds to feed it. However, it’s safe to assume that if a specific bullet feeds in your Glock magazine-compatible PCC, it will feed out of this.

But Why a 50 Round Pistol Caliber Carbine Drum?

Make brass go flying with the Magpul D-50 9mm PCC drum

First off, because it’s cool. And also because having to waste precious range time reloading mags is dumb. I also think if I owned a gun range again and had a rental sub-machine gun that used Glock mags I’d get a bunch of these. Although, the reason I got this mag was for competition shooting. In the US Practical Shooting Association’s PCC division, drum magazines are legal. Plus, there’s no magazine capacity limit in USPSA PCC. So with one of these Magpul D-50 drums, you can shoot an entire 32 round stage and never have to reload.

Magpul D-50 GL9 PCC Competitors

T​here are two other drums on the market that compete with the Magpul magazine, and neither of them have great reputations for reliability. With that in mind, the competitor drums are significantly cheaper. The KCI drum is available for $54, and the RWB drum runs about $70. The Magpul D-50 drum is much pricier at $125. However, that extra price includes Magpul’s reputation for quality products and customer service.

Final Thoughts

F​or me, despite the loading difficulties, the PMAG D-50 PCC is a winner. Would be it awesome on a sub-machine gun? Yes. Is it going to be great to show up to USPSA matches with an SBR and a drum magazine? Also yes. Is it worth the actual cash money I paid for it? If it means I get a reliable 50 round PCC drum and don’t have to waste training time stuffing magazines, absolutely. The Magpul D-50 GL9 PCC is available now direct from Magpul.

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